For news/talk station, ‘The Answer’ is blowing in the WIND

It's not certain what the question is, but WIND-AM (560), the conservative news/talk station owned by Salem Communications, is rebranding itself AM 560 The Answer.


Effective at noon Monday, WIND will debut its new image on the air and in all of its marketing, following a similar move by the company’s stations in other markets, including New York, Los Angeles and Dallas.


“When we think about what our stations mean to our listeners, having them think of us as the answer to their questions of the day makes a lot of sense,” Phil Boyce, vice president and director of spoken word format for Salem Communications, said in a statement. “There is a unique attitude and spirit in Chicago, and we will capture it with our new on-air sound.”


Still not clear what it means?


Jeff Reisman, general manager of WIND, said: “As AM 560 The Answer, we are making a promise to our listeners that we are going to provide them with exactly what they want — the latest information, context for that information, and an explanation of what that information means. When we say that we're The Answer, that will mean that we're about the business of answering questions like: ‘What's happening?’ ‘What does it mean?’ and ‘Why is it important?’ Our aim is to be the answer to all the various questions that our listeners might have.”


Also new to WIND this week is Dave Stewart, the veteran Chicago radio newsman who most recently anchored midday newscasts on Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM (890). Starting Monday, Stewart will anchor news for Steve Cochran’s show, which airs from 5 to 7pm weekdays on WIND.


It’s a reunion of sorts for Cochran and Stewart, who worked together at Tribune Co.-owned news/talk WGN-AM (720). Stewart spent 28 years as a news anchor and City Hall reporter at WGN before turning up on WLS in 2010. He’s an employee of Clear Channel’s Total Traffic Network, successor to Metro Networks.


Meanwhile, WIND is continuing to pursue talks with Joe Walsh, the former Republican congressman, about hosting a Monday-through-Friday talk show, as first reported here last week. “There’s an opportunity that’s been put in front of me. We’ll see if it plays out,” Walsh said when asked about the report in an interview on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight. “There are discussions.” Walsh has retained agent Steve Mandell to represent him in negotiations with Salem Communications.


For now, WIND’s weekday lineup continues with John Howell and Amy Jacobson from 5 to 9am, Glenn Beck from 9 to 11am, Dennis Miller from 11am to 2pm, Michael Medved from 2 to 5pm, Cochran from 5 to 7pm, Hugh Hewitt from 7 to 9pm, Mike Gallagher from 9 to 11pm, and Dennis Prager from 11pm to 2am.


In the latest Arbitron Portable People Meter survey, WIND tied for 33rd place overall with a 0.7 percent share and a cumulative weekly audience of 209,100. Its total revenue in 2012 was $4.2 million, according to Miller, Kaplan, Arase & Co.


 



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